"Begin today and write in it your goings and comings, your deepest thoughts, your achievements and your failures, your associations and your triumphs, your impressions and your testimonies. I promise you that if you will keep your journals and records, they will indeed be a source of great inspiration to you, each other, your children, your grand-children and others throughout the generations. Remember, the Savior chastised those who failed to record important events." --President Spencer W. Kimball
October 20, 2009
Okay, so I wanted to pay a special tribute to my dad, Semisi Makai. He's the stake president of the Tongan South Stake in Provo and a very very very faithful man. He is such a good role model to me, my sisters, all our kids....and just everyone. He's the kind of man that is willing to take the shirt off his back if that's the only thing he had to give you, literally. There have been so many times throughout my life that I have witnessed the true love of Christ from my Dad, and I would like to think I'm a better person because of his example. His story of faith is a crazy one....being a convert to the church, I've seen him go from never going to church with us, drinking kava all the time....to being this wonderful example of Christ. I can't say enough about my dad. I love him so much for his faith, his testimony, his love for everyone, and especially his example to my kids!
My sister posted about an experience my dad had recently, and I think she worded it pretty well....here it is:
As the stake president, my dad felt the impression to help with the relief for the tsunami victims in Samoa. Many families from his stake lost loved ones, parents, brothers, sisters, children, and spouses in that tragic event. He challenged all his members of his stake to donate anything that they could of these following supplies:
-Non-perishables (canned goods)
(and anything else that the families could use during this time)
Containers were made for each ward, labeled with their name on it, and yesterday Oct. 19, 2009 the members gathered at the Stake Center to assemble their wards container to send.
Hundreds of people faithfully donated goods for this service and the containers were soon packed to the top (some of the containers could barely close).
My Dad contacted two of the Stake Presidents in Samoa and told him that his stake would be sending nine containers to them (7ft L, 4 1/2ft W, 4ft Deep)...when Dad was speaking to the stake presidents in Samoa he learned that both of their stake houses and members homes were wiped out in the Tsunami and that the majority of the members were camping up in the hills, that Sunday the Stake Presidents spoke to the members as they assembled outside in a field for their meetings...the Stake Presidents told them of Dad's stake's Service Project and dad said the Stake President reported that the members cried so hard with Gratitude.
Because this was a service project the church did NOT fund any of this. To send one box was over $500 and they had 9 boxes. Dad said he fasted and prayed many times for a way they could pay to send the boxes, some of the members had donated some money, but he still needed $4100...Dad didn't want to ask the members to donate money because he knew that many of the members were struggling financially especially in this economy. Dad called me and shared a story with me that touched my heart and strengthened my testimony, something I hope I'll never forget.
Fasting and Praying Dad went to the Temple, after finishing his session while sitting in the Celestial Room he began to pray and pour out his heart to the Lord, he said he was crying telling the Lord that the members have faithfully donated so much, but he doesn't know how they were to pay for the containers to go to Samoa, he asked the Lord to please provide a way. After he was done counseling with the Lord, he felt a tap on his shoulder...it was a palangi man, the man looked at Dad and said, "President Makai, what can I help you with?" Dad said he was immediately humbled...he didn't want to tell this man what was going on, but he said the spirit told him to so he did...Dad said to the man. "I have 9 containers ready to send to the members in Samoa but I need $4100 to send them." The man patted Dad on the shoulder and told him..."President Makai, meet me in the parking lot after you get dressed." Dad met this man and his wife in the parking lot...the wife handed Dad a check for $4100. Dad said he couldn't stop crying. (yes we all know Dad is a crybaby so I can only imagine how overcome he was with gratitude) Dad now refers to this man as "my very best friend" he learned that this man owns a very productive company in Provo and was more than willing to help with such a wonderful cause. (Dad tells everyone that they are his best friend, but funny thing is....he really means it...who said you can't have a million BEST FRIENDS?
Thank you Dad for your wonderful example of faith and service....I only wish I can follow in your footsteps and try everyday to be more Christlike. I love you!